Newsgroups: alt.slack

Subject: Re: Did I already tell the Toepicker Bob story?

From: (MegaLiz)

Date: Sat, 14 Mar 1998 04:15:24 GMT (dode ) wrote:

: No, but now that you have mentioned it you must!


Okay. True Story Time.


Once upon a time, when I was enslaved at THE JOB, there was a visitor

named Bob. I should mention first that at THAT JOB, there were many

visitors, and relatives and so forth, because it was just THAT WAY,

and it was also a FAMILY JOB, but not MY family, thank BOB.


Before the visit of Bob, I had already threatened that if I ever saw

THE KID with a gun again, I was going to LEAVE until the gun was

disposed of, because THE KID had threatened to shoot me, and I was

just LIKE THAT back then.


You see, I was young and tender and optimistic about everything. I

believed that I would always have two arms, for instance. At that age,

I also believed that most people were sane and polite and whenever I

encountered humans that were neither, I would cry and become upset for

days and blather about how disillusioned I was until I forgot about it

and resumed by obliviousness and happy-happy illusioned attitude.


The day that Bob stopped by, I had no warning or preparation. I had

heard of Bob, however. He was well-known as a "horse's ass" and a

public toenail picker. In other words, Bob was a rude boy who would

say anything and become baffled that other people always wanted to

HURT him. Among his virtues, Bob would carry old coats in the trunk of

his car during the winter and hand them out to crazed street people

and ANYONE ELSE who seemed to be inadequately dressed. Once a year,

Bob would host a European exchange student, and I heard that they

generally left with some interesting English words and vast relief at

their chance to return to the mother country.


The day that Bob arrived at my desk was perfectly ordinary: I was

sitting at my computer, untangling the knots of someone else's English

abuse and smoking a camel. He didn't introduce himself until I

intercepted him. I shook his hand and he didn't let go. He pulled me a

bit closer and asked me if that was my cigarette. Reflexively, I began

to apologize for the smoke, even though EVERYONE in the office smoked

SOMETHING. We even had a "Smokers Welcome" sign on the door, which was

a giveaway from Phillip Morris, since we were a tobacco company's wet

dream of a workplace. He pressed me on the point: was it my cigarette?

Yes, I admitted.


Bob's speech went something like this: "Imagine yourself laying in a

soft, satin-lined coffin..." I pulled away from his grip and backed

up, but he moved closer. He was a big man. "You're wearing your best

dress and the scent of flowers is heavy in the air." I realized that

he had me cornered and was going to continue this, looming over me, so

I smiled politely. "Imagine your family gathered around your body,

your mother, your father, all the people that you love best in the

world. They are crying, especially your mother, who has to say goodbye

to her baby girl..." I try to interrupt, fiddle with the papers on my

desk, and mutter about how the boss is right over THERE waiting for

him. Bob continues, unsmiling, "You look so beautiful there. It's a

terrible tragedy for them and they wonder why you had to smoke

yourself to death like that."


At this point, I reached maximum ferocity. My heart was galloping, my

teeth were grinding hard enough to hurt and I had had enough. "SHUT



DEAD FIRST!!!" I pushed passed him and left the building.


When I came back, Toepicker Bob had finished picking his toes and

left. My boss was thoroughly amused by the whole scene--he loved to

watch me lose my temper at somebody ELSE. I told him that I would

NEVER sit still in the same room with that man. So after that, we had

a new deal: No kids with guns AND no Bob.


Nowadays, I wouldn't run away from Bob. I even feel a little sorry for

him. If people hadn't always hated him instantly, if he had been a BIT

more civilized, he could have been a very successful self-help guru.

See, some best-selling mormon gave the EXACT SAME ADVICE that Bob gave

me, and people paid for it and DIDN'T KILL HIM. I think it's only

because the mormon wasn't liable to blow his nose on THEIR shirttails

or pick his teeth with their business cards.



"I would say DUH! when you say that, except that you told me

that's rude. So can I just whisper "duh" instead? Really quietly?

Would that be okay?" -Sparky

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